Is it possible Dallas Mavericks’ billionaire NBA owner and sometimes reality TV star Mark Cuban could win the presidency in 2020? Cuban, who flirts publicly with the idea, would make you believe he is open to this possibility.
One betting service believes Cuban has a chance and lists him at a 5,000 to 1 shot. If 5,000 to 1 seems like a long shot, his odds of winning are higher than Hillary Clinton and the same as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and mega star Oprah Winfrey. One also has to wonder if you could have even gotten odds on a Trump presidency at the same time period last election cycle.
Sports are also a surprising launching pad for the White House. One of Ronald Reagan’s first grown up jobs was as a baseball announcer, and of course Reagan was known as the Gipper for playing George Gip in "Knute Rockne, All American," a movie about Notre Dame football. President Ford played for the University of Michigan college football championship teams in 1932 and 1933 and was the team’s MVP in 1934. George W. Bush, like Cuban, was a sports owner of baseball’s Texas Rangers, and his father George H.W. Bush was captain of the Yale baseball team and got to pose in a classic Americana photo with Babe Ruth.
Although Cuban portrays himself as a centrist, one would think Cuban, a vocal critic of Donald Trump, would run as either an Independent or a Democrat. So what are the real odds that Cuban can charm himself into the White House?
If he is sincere about winning, Cuban would likely stay away from an Independent bid, as recent history shows being an Independent candidate may garner you a lot of publicity but not much in the electoral college, see Ralph Nadar, Ross Perot, and John Anderson as recent examples. Besides, as a critic of President Trump, if he ran as an independent he would likely help Trump, as he would siphon away votes from the Democratic Party’s standard bearer. The assumption is this is something Cuban wouldn’t want to do.
If Cuban were to run for President as a Democrat he has a major obstacle in light of the recent Me Too Movement. In September Cuban donated $10 million to women’s advocacy groups after an investigation into sexual harassment allegations at the Dallas Mavericks showed that there were, “numerous instances of sexual harassment and other improper workplace conduct,” while Cuban has owned the team.
Although the investigation acknowledges there is no evidence Cuban was aware of any of the improper conduct while it was going on, if Cuban gets the Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh treatment, where an allegation is as good as evidence, Cuban’s chances to become president would rise to infinity. If, however, Cuban runs as a Democrat he might still have a chance, as Democrats tend to hold their own to a different standard on the Me Too Movement-type allegations.
Cuban has defended himself by saying, “I deferred to the CEO, who at the time was Terdema, and to HR…. I was involved in basketball operations, but other than getting the financials and reports, I was not involved in the day to day [of the business side] at all. That’s why I just deferred. I let people do their jobs. And if there were anything like this at all I was supposed to be made aware, obviously I was not.”
Many in the media, however, are pointing the finger of blame at Cuban. Esquire Magazine, who just a year earlier ran a puff piece on Cuban, now blames Cuban for hiring Terdema Ussery as CEO. Ussery, who ran the Mavericks for several years, prior to joining the Mavericks reportedly had a history of accusations against him at the work place, and some wonder how the Mavericks could have hired someone with this type of background in the first place.
For now the smart move is to keep your money in your wallet and not bet on Cuban in 2020, and if the Democrats have their heart set on someone with a sports background, there is always LeBron James who currently comes in at 10,000 to 1.
Matthew Kastel is a 25-year veteran of working as an executive in the world of sports, including professional teams, organizations, and some of the largest vendors in the industry. Matt has also written two novels and teaches and lectures at universities on the business of sports. For more information you can visit his website at thirdstrikeproductions.com. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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